How Do I Get Rid of Silverfish?

by | Single Family Home

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that range from 13-25mm long. They are characterized by their fish-shaped bodies and their silver-grayish color and scales, hence the name silverfish. These insects are nocturnal. They come out at night to feed on books, clothing, starch, and dry foods as their stomachs contain enzymes that can easily digest cellulose.

Because Southern California is typically a dry area, silverfish are known to invade from the wilderness and into our homes. You may not see them, but you can detect their presence, as they tend to leave irregular and unconnected holes in paper, clothing, etc. Silverfish love humidity, so they love laundry rooms and bathrooms. Here are some ways you can rid yourself of these pests:


Reduce Humidity — Water is the key element for silverfish survival. Ventilate attics and basements. Invest in dehumidifiers and fans.  Remove water sources and fix leaky pipes and faucets.

Sanitation – Keeping a clean home is one of the best lines of defense against home invasion of any pests, especially silverfish. Be sure to sweep. Close off any cereals, oats, and other grains. Keep books and magazines in containers with tight lids. Pick up laundry and get rid of mold.

Remove Wallpaper – Believe it or not, wallpaper glue is a prime food source for silverfish. If there are tears or if you notice that the edges and corners of wallpaper are peeling off, then seal them off completely. The most effective way to rid silverfish from wallpaper is to remove the wallpaper altogether.

Regulate Light or Heat – Silverfish love temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can tolerate it, warm up your home to 81 or higher, or cool it to well below 70. These insects also do not like light (nocturnal, remember), so shine the light and watch them scatter to a place where they can become more manageable.

Cover or Fill Entry Points – As with most pests, it is very important to find any holes or cracks near doors and windows where the insects can get in. Seal these entry points with plaster or caulk. Incidentally, silverfish like these holes and cracks so that they may lay eggs, so pay particular attention and cover up!

As always, maintenance and sanitation is of the utmost importance. You may also consult with your pest control company to find other alternatives in eliminating these sneaky insects.


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